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104 Colum. L. Rev. 1732 (2004)


Rutherford B. Hayes defeated Samuel Tilden by one electoral vote in the presidential election of 1876. In Fraud of the Century: Rutherford B. Hayes, Samuel Tilden, and the Stolen Election of 1876, Roy Morris, Jr. concludes that the election was stolen from Tilden by Republican partisans serving on the canvassing boards in the three Southern states - Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina - that were still under the control of Republican governments backed by the federal army. But in Centennial Crisis: The Disputed Election of 1876, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist defends the integrity and the actions of the Supreme Court Justices who served on the special Electoral Commission that Congress established to resolve the disputed claims about the election. The 1876 election, and the analogous difficulties attending the 2000 election, demonstrate the need to consider who counts votes in contested elections, and how to best balance the sometimes competing needs of independence, expertise, and timeliness.


Reprinted with permission of the Columbia Law Review.

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